Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
I would nominate Teddy Yarosz for the following reasons:
1. Yarosz fought 11 world champions and defeated 10 of them, running up the outstanding record of 13-5 against world champions. He defeated Tommy Freeman, Vince Dundee, Ben Jeby, Pete Latzo, Babe Risko, Ken Overlin, Solly Krieger, Lou Brouillard, Billy Conn, and Archie Moore.
He lost twice to Risko and Conn before reversing against each and winning the last match.
The only champion he fought and did not defeat was Ezzard Charles, whom Yarosz lost to in his next to last fight.
2. When boxing integrated in the late 1930's, Yarosz fought the toughest black fighters and won against Moore, Al Gainer, Nate Bolden, Jimmy Reeves and Lloyd Marshall
3. Yarosz's resume has a great deal of depth, defeating 26 men who were ranked in Ring Magazine's yearly rankings at one time or another.
4. Yarosz might actually be better than his excellent 107-18-3 record implies. A stylish and fast moving boxer, he hurt his knee in the first round in his first fight against Babe Risko. Unable to move, he suffered several knockdowns but was not counted out. He still had knee problems and was limping in the rematch which he lost. After his knee was fixed by an operation, he defeated Risko decisively.
He also lost several disputed decisions, the rawest against Tommy Gomez. The ringside press saw this as a shutout for Yarosz in Gomez's home town, but Gomez got the nod.
5. Although it does not directly speak to his abilities, Yarosz has a rather impressive accomplishment. He defeated champions from every decade from the twenties (Latzo) to the sixties (Moore), five consequtive decades in total. Even Ali can't match that.
Yarosz has been all but forgotten by history, although he did finally make the Hall-of-Fame. He is perhaps fairly seen as less impressive than twenties champs Greb and Walker and fifties champ Robinson. He has also been unfairly shunted aside for flashy forties champs Zale, Cerdan, and LaMotta, none of whom, in my judgement, accomplished as much.